Do it for the community

Gillian Redstone, Staff Writer

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Photo Illustration by Lucia Bosacoma

The most power I have as a member of Torch is knowing the code on the keypad to get into the locked room.

That’s certainly how it seems, at least. But now’s my last chance to elaborate.

For those who don’t know, a “staff writer” is the lowest position on Torch. And that’s what I do here. I still write a piece for every issue, but I don’t decide which stories go in, I don’t make the graphics nor do I get to put a dauntingly majestic leadership role on my college applications.

So you might ask, “Then why do you do it?” especially in this era of cutthroat college admissions in which every extracurricular seems to be more of a resume-builder than a result of any legitimate zeal for that activity. In fact, my college counselor attempted to coax me into dropping Torch my senior year to lighten my course load. But I adamantly refused.

I may not have profound authority on the paper, but that does not make the experience worthless. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

Because of Torch, I’ve gained skills in writing, communicating and professionalism. I’ve learned how to manage my time and work with a tight deadline, even if that means waking up at some ungodly hour to finish my article (clearly I’m still working on this skill).

I’ve opened my eyes to the beauty of freedom of the press, and my nose to the glorious scent of freshly printed newspapers on the morning the paper is distributed to school members.

But the most important things I’ve gained from my three years on Torch are the relationships I’ve made with each member and the tight-knit community we all share. Pull out your macaroni, because I’m about to make it rain cheese: Torch is a family.

We have inside jokes and a group chat affectionately titled “Send news.” We have a deep love for Gushers. We even have a meme wall, for God’s sake.

These memories and lessons will stay with me, regardless of my standing in the Torch hierarchy. You don’t have to be the best or the brightest to be part of something amazing. It doesn’t have to be the topic of your Common App essay or the activity you were bred to excel in since you were halfway out of the womb.

You simply have to love it.

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Do it for the community